Yearly Archive: 2016

Dec

22

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We wish for more fun in 2017

We wish for more fun in 2017

This fall has truly been full of instability, both on and off campus. Bwog has recently seen its fifth Editor-in-Chief in as many semesters, Columbia students are realizing that their liberal bubble might not be as safe as it seemed, and Cannons is finally gone for good. Not all of these changes were bad, as The Reclining Figure found a home and Claremont finally got a crosswalk. Regardless of what happened, time passed as always. Before we head home to recharge over Winter Break, we want to recap the events of these past few months. 

Our semester began with some drama on Broadway as Deluxe finally closed and has yet to be replaced. To contribute to the instability, Barnard officially declared the Magnolia tree dead. A new tree will be planted on the lawn in Maggie’s place, but we’re uncertain that any flowering bough will ever truly be able to replace our favorite crying spot on campus.

Even though an intro lecture was held in the Diana Event Oval, our painfully boring academic lives carried on. The then-thriving hole that was Barnard’s library was partially to blame for lack of classroom space, but construction seems to be on track as the TLC finally started to rise (that’s Teaching and Learning Center… no updates on the increased Tender Love and Care).

Then, the Columbia bureaucracy reared its ugly head, as we were informed Columbia wanted to keep track of its reporters during protests, so we signed a form and got some fancy lanyards. We also found out Columbia would no longer allow students to record audio during gender based misconduct hearings. And we interviewed Marjory Fisher, the new Title IX coordinator, who defended that decision and gave us insight into the legal proceedings of gender-based misconduct investigations.

DSpar, Carman mold, and more after the jump

Dec

22

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A word cloud of all of the answers given by seniors to the cheese or oral sex question

Wordcloud of “Cheese or Oral Sex” answers – click for full size!

Bwog has been around for ten years, and no content has quite defined us like our Senior Wisdoms. We’ve seen some very good (and very bad) advice, but the posts are about more than just actual wisdom. Anyone who’s thought about writing a Senior Wisdom has inevitably had to contemplate – would I rather give up cheese or oral sex?

We’ve received many ridiculous answers. Some students would rather give up cheese – to quote Yoachim Haynes SEAS ’13, “Dairy products make me break out. Oral sex hasn’t done that to me yet…” Others know that they would rather sacrifice oral sex – Orli Matlow GS/JTS ’15 told us, “Cheese never asks for reciprocation, and what is the Lewinsky without the Mozzarella Cheese?” Others still avoid the question or give halfway answers, such as Yanyi Luo CC 13’s, “Both arguments would have holes in them.”

The answers are varied and hilarious, which is why few Bwog posts have fascinated me more than “Oral Sex or Cheese: The Truth Revealed?” In it, a mysterious student named Fromage ’13 analyzed hundreds of Senior Wisdom responses to see whether Columbia students preferred one over the other. They found that 42% of students would rather give up oral sex, compared to only 30% who would give up cheese. We’ve posted over 170 Senior Wisdoms since then – how do they change the numbers?

Graphs, school breakdowns, and gendered responses after the jump

Dec

22

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In our hearts, M2M is never closed

In our hearts, M2M is never closed

As many of us are aware, M2M recently pulled its health rating up from a C to a B. So, does that make it worth visiting? Or have its cheap Asian snack foods and underutilized seating area held allure all along? Internal editor Finn Klauber defends this hidden gem.

Look, I get it. M2M is just that weird Asian store tucked into an alcove on Broadway with a C (now a B!) health rating. And you’re probably just another middle class, non-Asian kid whose experiences with blue collar grime consist of leaving Bel Air on the freeway or standing in line behind some scary New Yorker when trying to buy beer at the NSOP Yankees game excursion. Why would you go to M2M? Sweetgreen is just twenty feet away, after all. Nothing screams out “new experiences” like spending more than 10 dollars on the luxury of an artisanal salad.

But, honestly, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. M2M is the hidden gem of the Morningside food and snack community, and it’s a shame that so few Columbia students see that C or B and decide to keep walking on. I was that Columbia student once, I know what it’s like. But M2M has a way of worming itself into your heart.

See, in the varying states of consciousness in which I’ve perused row after row of strangely detailed products packed with color, I have never been disappointed in my choices. Without engaging in a fetishization of East Asian culture, it is entirely appropriate to wonder at the vastly different trajectory on which Asian junk food developed opposed to that of our Western dominated culture. And M2M has managed to assemble the greatest collection of such delectable treats in the near Upper West Side. All you have to do is look inside.

So, what exactly is so great about M2M’s snack collection?

Dec

22

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Three semesters in and the view is still pretty nice.

The view hasn’t gotten old yet.

When the newness is gone, does the malaise set in? Halfway through and taking a break before Round Two, Bwog babe Lila Etter decided to prepare for the second half of her sophomore year by reflecting on the first.

It was a little over four years ago when I first learned the full definition of the word “sophomoric.” I had just finished my freshman year in high school, and during the first week of summer my dad made a (somewhat facetious) comment about how he couldn’t wait for me to become truly sophomoric. He made this comment in front of me, but directed toward my mother, who smiled, nodded, and said, “You’re right. If we already thought she was a know-it-all, she’s about to be downright insufferable.” My confusion was evident, so they humored me with an explanation. As a soon-to-be sophomore in high school, I was about to take on a new persona of increased pretension. Sophomoric, as in: one’s second year, but also as in: intellectually overconfident and conceited, while simultaneously immature.

I, of course, resented this accusation at the time, labelling it as premature and overly critical of teenagers. Hindsight really is 20/20, though. Reflecting on what I was like as a sophomore in high school and as a fifteen-year-old, I know now that I was no exception to any rule about adolescent attitude. I was outspoken and precocious, aware of my own intellect and ready to defend it at any time, whether or not the situation actually called for it. I favored obscure books I thought no one else knew. I felt wise beyond my years and enjoyed praise from adults affirming that I carried myself with the assurance of a “much older girl.” This sophomoric nature irritated my parents when it manifested itself as correcting their grammar, dismissing their advice, and refusing to believe that anyone knew better than I did – including the two humans who had created me. They’ve since forgiven me for this year (these years, more accurately) of juvenile hubris, knowing it’s worth it now that they can tease me for it. I still recall myself at this age and cringe sometimes, but then again, who doesn’t?

Even more reflections after the jump.

Dec

22

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Whether it's by plane, train, or bus, get ready to say goodbye to Columbia for a bit!

Whether it’s by plane, train, or bus, get ready to say goodbye to Columbia for a bit!

Bwogline: Despite bipartisan support for the issue, the North Carolina legislature failed to repeal the controversial House Bill No. 2, which limited bathroom access and other human rights for LGBTQ people. (New York Times)

Study Tip: If you still have finals, you’re probably in cram mode. Give yourself a little break before your last test (or before you conclude your last essay) and grab a piece of chocolate – some studies say that it helps memory, but regardless, it’s worth it.

Music: Whether you need bravery for your last final, for your fear of planes, or just because you’re about to face a lot of intense family time, we all could use some bravery in our lives. Let Sara Bareilles inspire you as you get ready to end the semester.

Procrastination: Read all the CULPA reviews for your professors for next semester, and get ahead of the game by googling / wikipedia-ing them. You can procrastinate saying goodbye to your professors from this semester by getting ready for the next one!

Overheard: “I can’t wait to live with my friends next year so that I can tell them all the shit they do that pisses me off.”

Leaving on a Jet Plane via JFK Airport

Dec

21

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When Ann Thornton asks a band alum to donate to the library...

When Ann Thornton asks a band alum to donate to the library…

It’s been eight days since the Marching Band announced that they had been banned from playing Orgo Night in Butler 209 this semester – an edict that originated in the devious mind of Vice Provost and Head Librarian Ann Thornton. Senior Staffer (and Band member) Betsy Ladyzhets tried to get into that very mind by imagining what Ann Thornton’s life must be like, now that Orgo Night is over and most “disruptive” marching band members have migrated off campus.

5:29 pm

Headed home for the night! Time to not think about administrative meetings or official documentation for a few hours, and maybe watch a Netflix documentary.

5:31 pm

Shit, did I remember to send that email to Dean Kromm? I know she so values my opinions about which groups should and shouldn’t be allowed to hold events on the lawns…

5:33 pm

It’s fine, I can send it tomorrow.

5:57 pm

The subway gets more and more disgusting every week. There should be designated different cars – one for people who want to gossip with their friends, one for people who want to loud, ear-damaging music, and one for people who actually want to spend their time in a productive way. I’m going to write a strongly worded letter to the MTA.

6:18 pm

Did someone… poop… on my doorstep?

Did someone poop?!

Dec

21

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her name is probably Ashley or Haley

her name is probably Ashley or Haley

Today, we have a female Tinder Archetype for you! Bwogger Leo Bevilacqua writes about the charming, although almost unbearably loquacious, classic sorority girl that you might find on your screen.

The sorority girl’s first photo will be a selfie with either the Snapchat flower crown or dog filter (the first in an array of over-edited pictures). Count on there being at least two photos of her with all her sisters, cause you know ‘sisterhood’ is the reason she joined a srat (first you become a part of it, then it becomes a part of you). There will be a few pictures in front of wall murals in Soho or some paintings in the Met cause she’s cultured like that, despite her favorite vineyard being Franzia. Decked out in her finest Lilly Pulitzer, Calypso, Vineyard Vines, and Madewell, she’ll convince you that pastels never looked so good. On the oft chance that there’s a bikini pic, it will be at St. Barth’s, Key’s Largo, Cabo, or the Hamptons. The cool sorority girl may have a photo or two at one of NYC’s ‘hottest’ clubs and bars, such as Catch, Le Bain, Goldbar, Paul’s Baby Grande, Blond, and Lavo. Her photographs exude of artificially arranged classiness, as does her Instagram linked to her profile.

Her profile will include a Dr. Seuss quotation along the lines of “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” as well as her major, which will most likely be psych. Her Spotify playlist will include anything from Drake to St. Vincent, demonstrating tremendous range in her cultural interests. In the rare event that you match, expect to get cocktails or food at a variety of Manhattan’s best restaurants (i.e. Acme, Gari, etc.). This is not a girl you can satisfy with a simple Vodka Cran at 1020. If she’s southern, you might find in her profile a biblical quote or two or three, most likely from Romans. However, don’t be fooled by her generic, bland bio, as she may actually be sporting a rocking internship at NBC, Vanity Fair, and the like. The srat girl may have no chill, but who’s to say that’s a bad thing? This girl is gorgeous, classy, and popular, and she knows it. Her expectations of her Tinder suitors are astronomical, and her right swipe ratio might be lower than Columbia’s acceptance rate. The world is her oyster and if having a strong, independent, girl who could drink you under the table is a problem, then step aside.

sorority girl via Nikki Shaner-Bradford

Dec

21

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img_4135Typically, finding a a seat in The Reference Room (also known by its street name “Ref”), can be as challenging as surviving Columbia’s demanding curriculum. However, during finals it’s impossible to secure a seat if you don’t head to Butler before 8 am. I’ve learned a few things after spending more time here than in my actual living quarters, and have figured out exactly what you need to leave at your seat to ensure a random sophomore won’t be there typing their CC paper when you get back.

  1. An open folder: The folder could literally be full of information pamphlets about Butler itself. Doesn’t matter what’s inside; just make sure it’s left open. It will take up more space, and will leave the impression that you’ll be back so soon, you didn’t even think to close the folder.
  2. Multiple open notebooks: Honestly one of those Moleskins is from last semester. But look at how studious I seem with two of them– both open– stacked on top of each other. Give off the impression that you need to be studying here.
  3. A candle: Butler gets stinky during finals so I actually bring a candle for when the people who actually haven’t left the library in days decide to congregate in Ref. But it also looks intimidating– who wants to displace someone who brought a candle? This leaves the impression that you plan on moving in.
  4. A half-eaten snack: Mostly because people don’t like to handle half eaten food and will be less inclined to displace someone who left behind food. Leave off the impression that you’re gross.
  5. Multiple perishable drinks: This is less-so you look gross (read #4) and more-so you look like you’re coming back. No one wants to drink a smoothie/ Naked Juice it it has been sitting for longer than 20 minutes. These have the same effect as the open notebook; it leaves the impression that you’ll be right back.
  6. A Bag: A big, concrete object like a backpack or tote bag signifies that you’re still in the building, or that you can’t be too far, because who can live their life without their bag? This sends a strong impression to Butler dwellers that not only will you be back, but you’re probably nearby and would see them displacing you (a displacer’s worst nightmare tbh). A coat, sweatshirt, or even bra will send off a similar message if you didn’t plan this step out well enough before you packed for your library trip.
  7. Multiple pencil bags: Who has three extra pencil bags and needs all of them while studying? Send off the impression that you’re crazy.
  8. Chapstick: Again, this appeals to the “gross” impression that you’re trying to give off. No one wants to move someone’s chapstick. Plus it’s so small, it could get lost during displacement, so the camper could cause a scene if one of their belongings is missing.
  9. Random bullshit: That’s a walkie talkie. Show people that you’re so desperate to save this seat that you’ll leave a walkie talkie.
  10. Someone else’s mess: Make your camp so large that it spills into that of the person next to you. The displacer won’t know what’s what and will get frustrated and give up. Give the impression that you’re complicated.

Dec

21

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Hannah (guttural "H")

Hannah (guttural “H”)

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Hannah (guttural “H”) Vaitsblit, Barnard College, Political Science (soon to be renamed “pseudoscience” for its less-than-stellar predictive capacity), Brookline, MA

Claim to fame: As of last week: co-sponsored a dissident revolt against the proposed Orwellian purge of Overheard @ Barnard, after consistently firing shots against the group’s fascist enforcement of identity politics and censorship. (Screenshot documentation of said censorship upon request). Finally dished enough sarcasm to get myself kicked out––an exile I am embracing as I join the least safe space of all, the real world.

Where are you going? Wherever capitalism and liberty thrive and the male-female ratio works out better in my favor. (In other words, far away from here.)

Groupthink, Judaism, and more after the jump

Dec

21

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when you want to go to 1020 but have to study

when you want to go to 1020 but have to study

Bwogline: Certified final results for the 2016 presidential election are in. Hillary Clinton won 2,864,974 more votes than Donald Trump, meaning that she now has by far the largest ever margin of victory in the popular vote for a candidate who did not win the election. This news continues doubts surrounding the efficacy and purpose of the Electoral College. (The Huffington Post)

Study Tip: Call home! Whether or not you’re returning home this break, making a phone call and hearing the voices of your loved ones will remind you of the support and love that you can always count on. It’s okay to complain about your schoolwork for a bit, but be sure to ask about what’s going on at home. This conversation will provide a refreshing break that will re-motivate you to study.

Music: It might not feel like it (for those of you still taking finals), but we’re deep in the holiday season! Cozy up to Tchaikovsky’s classy Nutcracker soundtrack, whether you’re studying late at night in Butler, or sipping hot chocolate in bed back at home.

Don’t miss the beautiful Pas de Deux (“Sugar Plum Fairy and a Cavalier”) – it’s one of our favorites!

Procrastination: Get started on your New Year’s resolutions! Whether it’s to do all your readings for a particular class next semester (lol), to explore your sexuality, or to go to Dodge for the first time, now is the time to start coming up with ideas.

On a more serious note, make a list of the people you’re thankful to have in your life! This holiday season, be sure to write a card, get a present, or at least let them know how much they mean to you.

Overseen: (see featured image) If you can’t go to the party, bring the party to you.

picture of a partying butlerite via Connie Blumenthal

Dec

20

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110 had a rough final. it was called Saturday night.

110 had a rough final. it was called Saturday night.

Setting: 110
Protagonist: a girl with an unnervingly serene disposition
Era: finals

The warning signs were there.  She had seen yellow streaks on the wall and drips from the ceiling and thought mucus? acid? an externalized flu? And then she shrugged and went to bed.

What appeared to be a Simpson murder was reported the next morning to the building super – but exams took precedent as the days progressed.  She began telling her suite mates that the neon yellow crime scene on the walls of her bathroom were fading.  Their nerves settled, she had passed a final: life was looking up.

But then the incident happened.

It was 3am when the suite was relatively unresponsive to what sounded like the earth splitting in half in the neighboring room.  Some Columbia students may think that living on Broadway is loud – but 110’s glamorous history as a luxury hotel of yesteryear presents itself in the form of creeks and melancholy groans. It’s tired. We’re tired. The pressure of exams on us is akin to the weight of time on it’s old structural forms.

So, sometimes we fail our tests.  And, sometimes 110 lets go a of ceiling.

Wait… a ceiling?

Dec

20

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Find out which of the few and precious Columbia traditions you identify with!

Dec

20

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Has your friend made you a starter pack yet? Nah? Ok, sucks for you, but we made one that applies to the whole university. Here is is! Enjoy.

Starter packs look bad. However much effort you might put into finding the perfect objects is almost certainly more than what you put into arranging them on the Microsoft Paint canvas. To demonstrate the problems with current starter pack layouts, I present what the Morningside campus would look like if it were made in 2016.

How are you supposed to walk between classes? How is your eye supposed to traverse the canvas? I’m really not sure, but this artwork is made with as much care and attention as any other starter pack. (Click to enlarge.)

A map of Columbia, but everything is horribly placed and sized

this layout looks pretty good

Dec

20

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Surely not even Trump can kick someone this gorgeous out of the US?

Surely not even Trump can kick someone this gorgeous out of the US?

What’s cooler than being cool? Being a multi-cultural badass with a thing for parties and politics. Ariella dishes some dope advice and interesting personal tidbits in the process. Read on!

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Ariella G. Hohl, GS, Middle Eastern Studies, São Paulo, Brazil

Claim to fame: The girl who left campus one summer as a member of the Jewish Orthodox community and co-chair J Street CU and did a 180 – moved to a refugee camp in Palestine and Jordan for 10 months and then came back a member of SJP. On a less a political note -I also helped reestablish the Brazilian Student Society and threw some mean parties during my spare time.

Where are you going? I am both Arab and Latina – do I even have a chance to stay in the US under Trump at this point? Wish me luck (and a visa)!

What advice does Ariella have?

Dec

20

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Yummm

She looks like the real thing

Bwogline: NYC is about to get a new subway on Jan 1, and it’s gonna be artsy af. Plus, this 2nd ave line will make getting around the Upper East Side a lot easier, if you ever go there. (NY Times)

Study Tip: Adderall might have a placebo effect on people without ADHD. So if you need some stimulation, ritalin, caffeine, or vyvanse are the way to go.

Music: Return to your toddlerhood with Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” (released 1995). Massachusetts neo-folk singer Lori McKenna also does a nice cover. Or, if you don’t like our music, Spotify just came out with your “top songs of 2016” playlist, which is always a good bet.

Procrastination: Bake something! The actual prep/clean up will probably only take 30 min, and  you can study while it bakes. Here’s Bwog’s favorite banana bread recipe. Bonus points if you use bananas taken from the dining hall.

Overheard: “He had a yoga mat for a bed.”

Banana Bread via Nimz/Food.com

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